Locally, it’s a matter of pride that more artists (per capita) call Humboldt County home than anywhere else in California. This tradition of artistic heritage is easy to see on a visit to Arcata, where local artists are represented in galleries, co-ops, and murals.
To showcase talented glassblowers, jewelry designers, and painters, the second Friday of every month is ‘Arts Arcata’ from 6-9pm, a celebration of community and art on the Arcata Plaza. Locals gather to see familiar faces and listen to live music, while the monthly event draws visitors and residents from across the county to enjoy Arcata’s artsy vibes. Businesses on the Plaza stay open late and many shops offer concessions, music, and special events. A free, self-guided public art tour, Arts Arcata is a magical time to see the arts come alive on the Plaza.
Across town at the historic Creamery District, “where arts and commerce meet,” the bustling collection of art studios, wineries, boutiques, and the Arcata Playhouse have established their own monthly art celebration, the Night Market. Locals frequent the historic Creamery Building
to watch live theater or take a yoga class, while visitors enjoy shopping for locally made jewelry, wine tasting, or relaxing under the night sky during the open-air markets. Follow the Creamery District on FB to know when Night Market will happen next!
On a day trip to Arcata, visitors can swing by the Fire Arts Center (520 S. G St.), where students and artists explore ceramics, glass, metal casting, and blacksmithing. Regular studio memberships are offered, but Fire Arts also offers a full schedule of classes geared for everyone from beginners to professionals.
Finally, if you look forward bringing art home as a memory of your travels, go shopping any day of the week at the Artisans Artists Cooperative Art Gallery (883 H St.). A collective gallery and gift shop, rotating artists enjoy the spotlight on the gallery walls, and the shop is filled with unique jewelry, ceramics, and prints from local artists throughout the North Coast.